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Parma sack Cuper ahead of relegation decider

SoccerNews in Serie A 12 May 2008


Parma stunningly sacked coach Hector Cuper on Monday with just one match of the season remaining, the club’s president Tommaso Ghirardi said.

Cuper was only hired two months ago with Parma already struggling against relegation, just one place above the drop zone.

Under the 52-year-old Argentine’s guidance Parma won two matches, drew three and lost five times but they also dropped one place to 18th and need a minor miracle to avoid the drop.

They host champions Inter Milan on the last day of the season with only a victory giving them any hope of staying up.

On Sunday they took the lead 1-0 at Fiorentina but ended up losing 3-1 and trail 17th-placed Catania by two points.

If the Sicilians beat Roma this weekend, Parma will definitely go down.

Cuper replaced Domenico di Carlo, who had been in charge since the start of the season, on March 11 with the team sitting in 17th place and having won only five times in 27 league matches.

Cuper had previously coached in Italy, taking the helm at Inter Milan from 2001 to 2003 and he even came within a whisker of lifting the Scudetto crown in 2002 but a 4-2 defeat to Lazio on the final day of the season allowed Juventus to snatch the title.

He does have a fine pedigree, though, guiding little Mallorca to the final of the Spanish Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup in successive seasons before then steering Valencia to two successive Champions League finals.

Cuper last worked in Spain at Real Betis having returned to Mallorca, and saved them from relegation, following his Inter experience.

However, despite all his success, the former Argentina international defender has never actually won a trophy in management.



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